Want to know how to travel on the cheap, make friends, learn new skills and find your connection with nature? Go WWOOFing.
WWOOFing is a network of opportunities on organic farms that connects farmers and volunteers. In order to participate on the program you have to decide which country you are going to and after paying a fee to gain full access to the website, allowing you to browse through every farm available in the country of your choice. I spent a month working on a farm in Alaska, with two more WWOOFers. We were in a small city in the Kenai Peninsula called Homer and lived with Carey and her two kids - Liam and Thea.
During my time working on the farm it was very interesting to see how people use a lot of trade and work exchange possibilities in order to get things done. We worked for boat rides, tickets to festivals and traded different types of fish. The power of community became very clear for me, because we always had a house full of friends and different adventures we could go to. July is also the season for subsistence fishing of the Salmon that is going up the Kenai river, and I was able to see Alaskan culture in action.
I felt less conflicted, more calm and with a greater power for self observation - life was more direct and simple, even while communicating. I have studied Nonviolent Communication during different moments of my life, and it was a great place for practicing awareness and consciousness around that.
For me, as a girl raised in a big city like Rio de Janeiro, I had a wonderful time seeding, planting, transplanting and harvesting - and I finally realized how much effort is put into our food before it arrives to our tables. We also had the opportunity to build a cabin, where we were able to use power tools and learn the step by step of creating your own living space.
If you are still not sure wether to start WWOOFing I say: take the leap of faith and let (your) true nature catch you while you fall!
- Julia Esteves Abreu